PropertyOfZack had the chance to chat with Craig Mabbitt of Escape The Fate a week or so ago for an in-depth interview. We discussed the reasons for the band’s delay in releasing new material, what it was like to in many ways start fresh, regrouping with a new label, touring plans, and much more. Pre-order the band’s album here and check out the interview below!
Escape The Fate just released “Ungrateful” as a first track and music video for the new record. This is coming after months of buildup. How was the fan reaction to the first song?
It’s been more than months. But the response so far has been nothing but positive and that really makes me happy. For this first video… We always release one of our heavier tracks from our albums for street tracks to our fans; they always seem to like those the most. We’ve never done a music video to any of the street tracks. So to do a heavy song that actually has such a positive message and then to do the video that has even a deeper message; and to see the fans reacting so positively, is a great feeling. I couldn’t be happier about it.
Does that give you a greater hope for the record as well?
You know what? It’s given me a way greater hope. It’s also made me nervous because they’re reacting to this track and video so much, that I just want to make sense that everything else is up to par.
I guess it was a long time. You guys started recording spring of last year?
We started recording earlier than even that. We started recording… well we went in the studio with Feldmann; John Feldmann, the guy that did our This War Is Ours album. It was before our spring co-headlining tour that we did with… I think it was in 2010 still. It might have been 2011. That was the last real tour we’d done. And we started recording before that tour. That was our last tour we had done; I think we went to South America and played two festivals in 2012, but we haven’t really done anything or released anything since 2010. So now it’s 2013. You can’t take that much of a break in the entertainment industry. People will think you fell off. So seeing the reactions of our fans still being there is great.
What was the holdup in terms of getting things going? Getting off of Interscope and finding a new home?
It started in 2010 when we released our self-titled album on Interscope. As soon as we released it, our manager was nowhere to be found. I guess he met some girl in London, got married, whatever… his personal life. I don’t really mind it, but it was that timing. You know, when you’re supposed to be back home working on a band’s record but you’re busy with a woman. At the same time, we released the record and we had a bunch of awesome tours to do: for instance, we had Bullet For My Valentine in Europe where we had a five thousand cap venue every single night. So I was ecstatic; but right before the tour, our manager decided that it was best for our bass player to go to rehab. So we obviously supported that decision. We cancelled the tour. Obviously our label was upset now because they were trying to work this new band and we cancelled our first big tour that they offered us so that our bass player could go to rehab. Rehab didn’t help. It got to the point where our guitarist didn’t want to tour because he didn’t want to be on the road with our bass player. So now you’re stuck with just me and our drummer. And we were doing the biggest tour we’d ever done in the states which was The Uproar Festival with Avenged [Sevenfold] and Three Days Grace, Seether, Bullet For My Valentine, and then us opening for the main stage. It literally was just me, my drummer, a fill-in guitarist, a fill-in bassist, and we had just released the self-titled album. So everybody was like, “What the fuck is going on with these guys?” Shortly after that we were like, “We’ve got to start working on a new record.” Who’s going to be in the band? Who’s going to be on the record? We start working on it; we decided we’re going to get new management. Interscope at that point had already fired their whole rock department. So at first I was kind of bummed like, “Man they dropped our band.” But then I find out that they just fired the whole rock department. So that made me feel a little bit better, because it wasn’t just us. But we completely did an overhaul: New business management, new management, new label, new everything. It took a while to do that. Once I got all of our mixes back that we had worked on back when I was previously talking about, we were just unhappy with half of the record. That’s when we started working with other producers. Then we decided to just do this on our own. We finished the last half of our record and we were satisfied with it; went in to the mixing process and now we’re finally doing photos, videos, so it finally feels like the ball’s rolling again.
Did you guys wind up re-doing the whole record or just the second half on your own?
We ended up just doing mainly the second half. But now it feels like we have so many b-side tracks, some of the tracks are different countries’ exclusive tracks, we had so many songs tracked, that the bulk of the record we ended up just doing ourselves. It was mixed by our friend Josh Wilbur who recently did the Lamb Of God record. That’s the most recent thing I think he’s done. Yeah, I mean we’re satisfied with it. It’s been a long process. It got to the point where the band was falling apart. We had to get back and be like, “Is this really what we want to do?” And we still all felt the same passion we felt when we were kids playing instruments. Even though we’d traveled around the world, and played for our fans, we don’t want to stop now. We want it to be a career and we want it to last.